Anthony van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck

Overview
Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist
Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting is the art produced in the Southern Netherlands between about 1585, when the Dutch Republic was split from the Habsburg Spain regions to the south by the recapturing of Antwerp by the Spanish, until about 1700, when Habsburg authority ended with the death of King Charles II...

 who became the leading court painter
Court painter
A court painter was an artist who painted for the members of a royal or noble family, sometimes on a fixed salary and on an exclusive basis where the artist was not supposed to undertake other work. Especially in the late Middle Ages, they were often given the office of valet de chambre...

 in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draftsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

.

Antoon van Dyck (his Flemish name) was born to prosperous parents in Antwerp.
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Encyclopedia
Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist
Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting is the art produced in the Southern Netherlands between about 1585, when the Dutch Republic was split from the Habsburg Spain regions to the south by the recapturing of Antwerp by the Spanish, until about 1700, when Habsburg authority ended with the death of King Charles II...

 who became the leading court painter
Court painter
A court painter was an artist who painted for the members of a royal or noble family, sometimes on a fixed salary and on an exclusive basis where the artist was not supposed to undertake other work. Especially in the late Middle Ages, they were often given the office of valet de chambre...

 in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draftsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

.

Education


Antoon van Dyck (his Flemish name) was born to prosperous parents in Antwerp. His talent was evident very early, and he was studying painting with Hendrick van Balen
Hendrick van Balen
Hendrik van Balen was a Flemish Baroque painter.-Biography:Van Balen was born and died in Antwerp. He was a pupil of Adam van Noort and studied art while traveling in Italy...

 by 1609, and became an independent painter around 1615, setting up a workshop with his even younger friend Jan Brueghel the Younger
Jan Brueghel the Younger
Jan Brueghel the Younger was a Flemish Baroque painter, and the son of Jan Brueghel the Elder.He was trained by his father and spent his career producing works in a similar style. Along with his brother Ambrosius, he produced landscapes, allegorical scenes and other works of meticulous detail. ...

. By the age of fifteen he was already a highly accomplished artist, as his Self-portrait, 1613–14, shows. He was admitted to the Antwerp painters' Guild of Saint Luke
Guild of Saint Luke
The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe, especially in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, who was identified by John of Damascus as having painted the...

 as a free master by February 1618. Within a few years he was to be the chief assistant to the dominant master of Antwerp, and the whole of Northern Europe, Peter Paul Rubens, who made much use of sub-contracted artists as well as his own large workshop. His influence on the young artist was immense; Rubens referred to the nineteen-year-old van Dyck as "the best of my pupils". The origins and exact nature of their relationship are unclear; it has been speculated that Van Dyck was a pupil of Rubens from about 1613, as even his early work shows little trace of van Balen's style, but there is no clear evidence for this. At the same time the dominance of Rubens in the small and declining city of Antwerp probably explains why, despite his periodic returns to the city, van Dyck spent most of his career abroad. In 1620, in Rubens's contract for the major commission for the ceiling of the Jesuit church at Antwerp (now destroyed), van Dyck is specified as one of the "discipelen" who was to execute the paintings to Rubens' designs.

Italy


In 1620, at the instigation of the Duke of Buckingham
Duke of Buckingham
The titles Marquess and Duke of Buckingham, referring to Buckingham, have been created several times in the peerages of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. There have also been Earls of Buckingham.-1444 creation:...

, van Dyck went to England for the first time where he worked for King James I & VI
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, receiving £100. It was in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the collection of Earl of Arundel
Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel
Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel KG, was a prominent English courtier during the reigns of King James I and King Charles I, but he made his name as a Grand Tourist and art collector rather than as a politician. When he died he possessed 700 paintings, along with large collections of sculpture,...

 that he first saw the work of Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, whose use of colour and subtle modeling of form would prove transformational, offering a new stylistic language that would enrich the compositional lessons learned from Rubens.

After about four months he returned to Flanders, but moved on in late 1621 to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, where he remained for 6 years, studying the Italian masters and beginning his career as a successful portraitist. He was already presenting himself as a figure of consequence, annoying the rather bohemian Northern artist's colony in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, says Bellori, by appearing with "the pomp of Xeuxis ... his behaviour was that of a nobleman rather than an ordinary person, and he shone in rich garments; since he was accustomed in the circle of Rubens to noblemen, and being naturally of elevated mind, and anxious to make himself distinguished, he therefore wore—as well as silks—a hat with feathers and brooches, gold chains across his chest, and was accompanied by servants."

He was mostly based in Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, although he also travelled extensively to other cities, and stayed for some time in Palermo
Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

 in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. For the Genoese aristocracy, then in a final flush of prosperity, he developed a full-length portrait style, drawing on Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

 and Titian as well as Rubens' style from his own period in Genoa, where extremely tall but graceful figures look down on the viewer with great hauteur. In 1627, he went back to Antwerp where he remained for five years, painting more affable portraits which still made his Flemish patrons look as stylish as possible. A life-size group portrait of twenty-four City Councillors of Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 he painted for the council-chamber was destroyed in 1695. He was evidently very charming to his patrons, and, like Rubens, well able to mix in aristocratic and court circles, which added to his ability to obtain commissions. By 1630 he was described as the court painter of the Habsburg Governor of Flanders, the Archduchess Isabella. In this period he also produced many religious works, including large altarpiece
Altarpiece
An altarpiece is a picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting. It is then called a diptych, triptych or polyptych for two,...

s, and began his printmaking (see below).

London



King Charles I was the most passionate and generous collector of art among the British monarchs, and saw art as a way of promoting his grandiose view of the monarchy. In 1628 he bought the fabulous collection that the Gonzaga
Charles I, Duke of Mantua
Charles Gonzaga was Duke of Mantua and Duke of Montferrat from 1627 until his death. He was also Duke of Rethel and Nevers, as well as Prince of Arches.-Biography:...

s of Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

 were forced to dispose of, and he had been trying since his accession in 1625 to bring leading foreign painters to England. In 1626 he was able to persuade Orazio Gentileschi
Orazio Gentileschi
Orazio Lomi Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter, one of more important painters influenced by Caravaggio...

 to settle in England, later to be joined by his daughter Artemesia and some of his sons. Rubens was an especial target, who eventually came on a diplomatic mission, which included painting, in 1630, and later supplied more paintings from Antwerp. He was very well treated during his nine month visit, during which he was knighted
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

. Charles' court portraitist, Daniel Mytens, was a somewhat pedestrian Fleming. Charles was extremely short (less than five feet tall) and presented challenges to a portraitist.

Van Dyck had remained in touch with the English court, and had helped King Charles' agents in their search for pictures. He had also sent back some of his own works, including a portrait (1623) of himself with Endymion Porter
Endymion Porter
Endymion Porter was an English diplomat and royalist.-Life:He was descended from Sir William Porter, sergeant-at-arms to Henry VII, and son of Edmund Porter, of Aston-sub-Edge in Gloucestershire, by his cousin Angela, daughter of Giles Porter of Mickleton, in the same county.He was brought up in...

, one of Charles's agents, a mythology (Rinaldo and Armida
Armida
The story of Armida, a Saracen sorceress and Rinaldo, a soldier in the First Crusade, was created by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso. In his epic Gerusalemme liberata, Rinaldo is a fierce and determined warrior who is also honorable and handsome...

, 1629, now in the Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, was founded in 1914. Built in the Roman Temple style, the Museum is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 90,000 works...

), and a religious work for the Queen. He had also painted Charles's sister, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia was the eldest daughter of King James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, Ireland, and Anne of Denmark. As the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, she was Electress Palatine and briefly Queen of Bohemia...

 in the Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 in 1632. In April that year, van Dyck returned to London, and was taken under the wing of the court immediately, being knighted in July and at the same time receiving a pension of £200 per year, in the grant of which he was described as principalle Paynter in ordinary to their majesties. He was well paid for paintings in addition to this, at least in theory, as King Charles did not actually pay over his pension for five years, and reduced the price of many paintings. He was provided with a house on the river at Blackfriars, then just outside the City
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 and hence avoiding the monopoly of the Painters Guild
Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. An organisation of stainers, or painters of metals and wood, is known to have existed as early as 1268. A similar organisation of painters, who generally worked on cloth, existed as early as 1283...

. A suite of rooms in Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace is a large house in Eltham, within the London Borough of Greenwich, South East London, England. It is an unoccupied royal residence and owned by the Crown Estate. In 1995 its management was handed over to English Heritage which restored the building in 1999 and opened it to the public...

, no longer used by the Royal family, was also provided as a country retreat. His Blackfriars studio was frequently visited by the King and Queen (later a special causeway was built to ease their access), who hardly sat for another painter whilst van Dyck lived.

He was an immediate success in England, rapidly painting a large number of portraits of the King and Queen Henrietta Maria
Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France ; was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I...

, as well as their children. Many portraits were done in several versions, to be sent as diplomatic gifts or given to supporters of the increasingly embattled king. Altogether van Dyck has been estimated to have painted forty portraits of King Charles himself, as well as about thirty of the Queen, nine of Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford was an English statesman and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. He served in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I. From 1632 to 1639 he instituted a harsh rule as Lord Deputy of Ireland...

 and multiple ones of other courtiers. He painted many of the court, and also himself and his mistress, Margaret Lemon. In England he developed a version of his style which combined a relaxed elegance and ease with an understated authority in his subjects which was to dominate English portrait-painting to the end of the 18th century. Many of these portraits have a lush landscape background. His portraits of Charles on horseback updated the grandeur of Titian's Emperor Charles V, but even more effective and original is his portrait of Charles dismounted in the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

: "Charles is given a totally natural look of instinctive sovereignty, in a deliberately informal setting where he strolls so negligently that he seems at first glance nature's gentleman rather than England's King". Although his portraits have created the classic idea of "Cavalier
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

" style and dress, in fact a majority of his most important patrons in the nobility, such as Lord Wharton
Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton
Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton was an English peer.A Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, he served in various offices including soldier, politician and diplomat. He was appointed as the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire by Parliament in July 1642...

 and the Earls of Bedford
Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford
Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford PC was an English politician. About 1631 he built the square of Covent Garden, with the piazza and church of St. Paul's, employing Inigo Jones as his architect...

, Northumberland
Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland
Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland, 4th Baron Percy, KG was an English military leader and a prominent supporter of constitutional monarchy.-Family background:...

 and Pembroke
Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke
Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke and 1st Earl of Montgomery KG was an English courtier and politician active during the reigns of James I and Charles I...

, took the Parliamentarian
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

 side in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 that broke out soon after his death.

Van Dyck became a "denizen", effectively a citizen, in 1638 and married Mary, the daughter of Patrick Ruthven, who, although the title was forfeited, styled himself Lord Ruthven
Lord Ruthven
Lord Ruthven may refer to:*Lord Ruthven , the fictional lead character of the 1819 novel The Vampyre.*Lord Ruthven , a title in the Peerage of Scotland - see Earl of Gowrie...

. She was a Lady in waiting
Lady in Waiting
Lady in Waiting is the 2nd album by American southern rock band Outlaws, released in 1976. -Track listing:#"Breaker-Breaker" – 2:59#"South Carolina" – 3:05#"Ain't So Bad" – 3:48...

 to the Queen, in 1639-40; this may have been instigated by the King in an attempt to keep him in England. He had spent most of 1634 in Antwerp, returning the following year, and in 1640-41, as the Civil War loomed, spent several months in Flanders and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. In 1640 he accompanied prince John Casimir
John II Casimir of Poland
John II Casimir was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania during the era of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duke of Opole in Upper Silesia, and titular King of Sweden 1648–1660. In Poland, he is known and commonly referred as Jan Kazimierz. His parents were Sigismund III Vasa and...

 of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 after he was freed from French imprisonment; he also painted the prince's portrait. He left again in the summer of 1641, but fell seriously ill in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and returned hurriedly to London, where he died soon after in his house at Blackfriars. His widow later married Sir Richard Pryse, 1st Baronet
Sir Richard Pryse, 1st Baronet
Sir Richard Pryse, 1st Baronet was a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1646 to 1648.Pryse was the son of Sir John Pryse of Gogerddan and Abersychan and his wife Mary Bromley, daughter of Sir Henry Bromley of Shradon Castle, Shropshire...

 of Gogerddan. Van Dyck left a daughter each by his wife and mistress, the first only ten days old. Both were provided for, and both ended up living in Flanders.

He was buried in Old St. Paul's Cathedral, where the king erected a monument in his memory:

Anthony returned to England, and shortly afterwards he died in London, piously rendering his spirit to God as a good Catholic, in the year 1641. He was buried in St. Paul's, to the sadness of the king and court and the universal grief of lovers of painting. For all the riches he had acquired, Anthony van Dyck left little property, having spent everything on living magnificently, more like a prince than a painter.

Portraits and other works



With the partial exception of Holbein
Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and made a significant contribution to the history...

, van Dyck and his exact contemporary Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

 were the first painters of pre-eminent talent to work mainly as Court portraitists. The slightly younger Rembrandt was also to work mainly as a portraitist for a period. In the contemporary theory of the hierarchy of genres
Hierarchy of genres
A hierarchy of genres is any formalization which ranks different genres in an art form in terms of their prestige and cultural value....

 portrait-painting came well below history painting
History painting
History painting is a genre in painting defined by subject matter rather than an artistic style, depicting a moment in a narrative story, rather than a static subject such as a portrait...

 (which covered religious scenes also), and for most major painters portraits were a relatively small part of their output, in terms of the time spent on them (being small, they might be numerous in absolute terms). Rubens for example mostly painted portraits only of his immediate circle, but though he worked for most of the courts of Europe, he avoided exclusive attachment to any of them.

A variety of factors meant that in the 17th century demand for portraits was stronger than for other types of work. Van Dyck tried to persuade Charles to commission him to do a large-scale series of works on the history of the Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

 for the Banqueting House, Whitehall
Banqueting House, Whitehall
The Banqueting House, Whitehall, London, is the grandest and best known survivor of the architectural genre of banqueting house, and the only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall...

, for which Rubens had earlier done the huge ceiling paintings (sending them from Antwerp).
A sketch for one wall remains, but by 1638 Charles was too short of money to proceed. This was a problem Velázquez did not have, but equally van Dyck's daily life was not encumbered by trivial court duties as Velázquez's was. In his visits to Paris in his last years van Dyck tried to obtain the commission to paint the Grande Gallerie of the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 without success.

A list of history paintings produced by van Dyck in England survives, by Bellori, based on information by Sir Kenelm Digby; none of these still appear to survive, although the Eros and Psyche done for the King (below) does. But many other works, rather more religious than mythological, do survive, and though they are very fine, they do not reach the heights of Velázquez's history paintings. Earlier ones remain very much within the style of Rubens, although some of his Sicilian works are interestingly individual.

Van Dyck's portraits certainly flattered more than Velázquez's; when Sophia, later Electoress of Hanover, first met Queen Henrietta Maria, in exile in Holland in 1641, she wrote: "Van Dyck's handsome portraits had given me so fine an idea of the beauty of all English ladies, that I was surprised to find that the Queen, who looked so fine in painting, was a small woman raised up on her chair, with long skinny arms and teeth like defence works projecting from her mouth..." Some critics have blamed van Dyck for diverting a nascent tougher English portrait tradition, of painters such as William Dobson
William Dobson
William Dobson was a portraitist and one of the first notable English painters, praised by his contemporary John Aubrey as "the most excellent painter that England has yet bred"....

, Robert Walker
Robert Walker (painter)
Robert Walker was an English portrait painter, notable for his portraits of the "Lord Protector" Oliver Cromwell and other distinguished parliamentarians of the period...

 and Issac Fuller into what certainly became elegant blandness in the hands of many of van Dyck's successors, like Lely
Peter Lely
Sir Peter Lely was a painter of Dutch origin, whose career was nearly all spent in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court.-Life:...

 or Kneller
Godfrey Kneller
Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet was the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and was court painter to British monarchs from Charles II to George I...

. The conventional view has always been more favourable: "When Van Dyck came hither he brought Face-Painting to us; ever since which time ... England has excel'd all the World in that great Branch of the Art’ (Jonathan Richardson: An Essay on the Theory of Painting, 1715, 41). Thomas Gainsborough is reported to have said on his deathbed "We are all going to heaven, and Van Dyck is of the Company."

A fairly small number of landscape
Landscape art
Landscape art is a term that covers the depiction of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests, and especially art where the main subject is a wide view, with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works landscape backgrounds for figures can still...

 pen and wash drawings or watercolours made in England played an important part in introducing the Flemish watercolour landscape tradition to England. Some are studies, which reappear in the background of paintings, but many are signed and dated and were probably regarded as finished works to be given as presents. Several of the most detailed are of Rye
Rye, East Sussex
Rye is a small town in East Sussex, England, which stands approximately two miles from the open sea and is at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede...

, a port for ships to the Continent, suggesting that van Dyck did them casually whilst waiting for wind or tide to improve.

Printmaking


Probably during his period in Antwerp after his return from Italy, van Dyck began his Iconography, eventually a very large series of prints
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

 with half-length portraits of eminent contemporaries. Van Dyck produced drawings, and for eighteen of the portraits he himself etched
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

 with great brilliance the heads and the main outlines of the figure, for an engraver
Engraving
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

 to work up: "Portrait etching had scarcely had an existence before his time, and in his work it suddenly appears at the highest point ever reached in the art".

However for most of the series he left the whole printmaking
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

 work to specialists, who mostly engraved everything after his drawings. His own etched plates appear not to have been published commercially until after his death, and early states are very rare. Most of his plates were printed after only his work had been done; some exist in further states
State (printmaking)
A state, in printmaking, is a different form of a print, caused by a deliberate and permanent change to a matrix such as a copper plate or woodblock ....

 after engraving had been added, sometimes obscuring his etching. He continued to add to the series until at least his departure for England, and presumably added Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

 whilst in London.

The series was a great success, but was his only venture into printmaking; portraiture probably paid better, and he was constantly in demand. At his death there were eighty plates by others, of which fifty-two were of artists, as well as his own eighteen. The plates were bought by a publisher; with the plates reworked periodically as they wore out they continued to be printed for centuries, and the series added to, so that it reached over two hundred portraits by the late 18th century. In 1851 the plates were bought by the Calcographie du Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

.

The Iconography was highly influential as a commercial model for reproductive printmaking; now forgotten series of portrait prints were enormously popular until the advent of photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

: "the importance of this series was enormous, and it provided a repertory of images that were plundered by portrait painters throughout Europe over the next couple of centuries". Van Dyck's brilliant etching style, which depended on open lines and dots, was in marked contrast to that of the other great portraitist in prints of the period, Rembrandt, and had little influence until the 19th century, when it had a great influence on artists such as Whistler
James McNeill Whistler
James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American-born, British-based artist. Averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger...

 in the last major phase of portrait etching. Hyatt Mayor wrote: "Etchers have studied Van Dyck ever since, for they can hope to approximate his brilliant directness, whereas nobody can hope to approach the complexity of Rembrandt's portraits".

Studio



His great success compelled van Dyck to maintain a large workshop in London, a studio which was to become "virtually a production line for portraits". According to a visitor to his studio he usually only made a drawing on paper, which was then enlarged onto canvas by an assistant; he then painted the head himself. The clothes were left at the studio and often sent out to specialists. In his last years these studio collaborations accounted for some decline in the quality of work. In addition many copies untouched by him, or virtually so, were produced by the workshop, as well as by professional copyists and later painters; the number of paintings ascribed to him had by the 19th century become huge, as with Rembrandt, Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

 and others. However, most of his assistants and copyists could not approach the refinement of his manner, so compared to many masters consensus among art historians on attributions to him is usually relatively easy to reach, and museum labelling is now mostly updated (country house attributions may be more dubious in some cases). The relatively few names of his assistants that are known are Dutch or Flemish; he probably preferred to use trained Flemings, as no English equivalent training yet existed. Adriaen Hanneman
Adriaen Hanneman
Adriaen Hanneman was a Dutch Golden Age painter best-known today for his portraits of the exiled British royal court. His style was strongly influenced by his contemporary, Anthony Van Dyck.-Biography:...

 (1604–71) returned to his native Hague in 1638 to become the leading portraitist there. Van Dyck's enormous influence of English art does not come from a tradition handed down through his pupils; in fact it is not possible to document a connection to his studio for any English painter of any significance.

Other uses of van Dyck

  • Van Dyck painted many portraits of men, notably Charles I and himself, with the short, pointed beards then in fashion; consequently this particular kind of beard was much later (probably first in America in the 19th century) named a vandyke or Van dyke beard
    Van dyke beard
    A Van Dyke is a style of facial hair named after 17th century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck. A Van Dyke specifically consists of any growth of both a moustache and goatee with all hair on the cheeks shaven...

     (which is the anglicized version of his name).

  • During the reign of George III, a generic "Cavalier" fancy-dress costume called a Van Dyke was popular; Gainsborough
    Thomas Gainsborough
    Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter.-Suffolk:Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his penciling skills so that he let...

    's 'Blue Boy' is wearing such a Van Dyke outfit.
  • The oil paint pigment van Dyck brown is named after him, and Van dyke brown
    Van dyke brown
    Van Dyke Brown is an early photographic printing process. The process was so named due to the similarity of the print color to that of a brown oil paint named for Flemish painter Van Dyck.-Printing:...

     is an early photographic printing process using the same colour.
  • See also several people and places under Van Dyke
    Van Dyke
    Van Dyke is a surname of Dutch or Flemish origin. It may refer to:* Sir Anthony van Dyck, , Flemish-born painter*Barry Van Dyke , American actor, son of Dick Van Dyke...

    , the more common form in English of the same original name.

Collections


Most major museum collections include at least one Van Dyck, but easily the most outstanding collection is the Royal Collection, which still contains many of his paintings of the Royal Family. The National Gallery, London
National Gallery, London
The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media...

 (fourteen works), The Museo del Prado (Spain)
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of...

 (twenty-five works), The Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 (eighteen works), The Alte Pinakothek
Alte Pinakothek
The Alte Pinakothek is an art museum situated in the Kunstareal in Munich, Germany. It is one of the oldest galleries in the world and houses one of the most famous collections of Old Master paintings...

 in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, National Museum of Serbia
National Museum of Serbia
The National Museum is the largest and oldest museum in Serbia. It is located in Republic Square, Belgrade, Serbia. The museum was established on May 10, 1844. Since it was founded, its collections have to over 400,000 objects including many foreign masterpieces...

 in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, The National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden is a national art museum, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC...

 in Washington DC and the Frick Collection
Frick Collection
The Frick Collection is an art museum located in Manhattan, New York City, United States.- History :It is housed in the former Henry Clay Frick House, which was designed by Thomas Hastings and constructed in 1913-1914. John Russell Pope altered and enlarged the building in the early 1930s to adapt...

 have splendid examples of all phases of his portrait style.

Tate Britain
Tate Britain
Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the works of J. M. W. Turner.-History:It...

 held the exhibition Van Dyck & Britain in 2009.

See also

  • Antwerp school
    Antwerp school
    The Antwerp School is a term for the artists active in Antwerp, first during the 16th century when the city was the economic center of the Low Countries, and then during the 17th century when it became the artistic stronghold of the Flemish Baroque under Peter Paul Rubens.-History:Antwerp took over...

  • List of Flemish painters
  • Lost artworks
    Lost artworks
    Lost artworks are original pieces of art that credible sources indicate once existed but that cannot be accounted for in museums or private collections or are known to have been destroyed deliberately or accidentally, or neglected through ignorance and lack of connoisseurship.For lost literary...

  • Henry Stone
    Henry Stone (painter)
    Henry Stone , known as "Old Stone", was an English painter and copyist of the works of Van Dyck.Henry was the eldest son of notable sculptor and architect Nicholas Stone ; his brothers Nicholas Stone Jr. and John Stone were sculptors and masons...

    (1616–53), English portrait painter and copyist of Van Dyck's works.

External links